Posts Tagged ‘railfanning excursion’

One of Those Days When It All Went Right

August 3, 2013

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Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes right?  When every place that you go results in a situation in which you don’t catch a train or its not the right one? 

Well, last Tuesday was the exact opposite for me.  Every place that I went I got a train.

For my work, I have to visit various retail stores. My work on Tuesday took me out to Madison in Lake County

While crossing the CSX and Norfolk Southern tracks I thought that the former Nickel Plate Road freight depot would make a nice photo because it was beautifully lighted.

After taking some pictures, I proceeded across the tracks only to be stopped by a westbound CSX freight. Oh darn! 

I took some pictures from my car and then the gates behind me came down.  I stepped out just in time to catch a fast moving NS westbound train.

The scene reminded me of stories from the 1950s of steam-powered NKP freights overtaking NYC passenger trains. 

What was true then was also true now. The NS freight blew by the CSX train.

Later, on my lunch break, I decided to visit the viaduct over the Grand River at Painesville.  I took some photos of the bridge and heard a distant horn. 

This turned out to be an eastbound double stack that was also moving quickly.  I returned to my car 15 minutes after arriving here.

My next stop was the Giant Eagle at Painesville. The parking lot is to the NS tracks and in the past I have caught trains here.

After pulling in I heard another horn but this turned out to be a CSX train a half mile north.  After doing my store visit I heard another horn that also was on CSX. Just after that I heard yet another horn and this time it was on the NS. 

It was another fast-moving intermodal train. My oh my I was having good luck.

On the drive home traffic was backed up on I-271 to Macedonia on my usual route so I took I-480 to Streetsboro as a detour.

I thought “I have some time and it’s a nice afternoon. I’ll try sitting at Kent for a half hour and see what comes by.”

Not five minutes after arriving, an eastbound CSX freight blew its horn. This turned out to be K676, an ethanol train headed by a pair of Canadian National EMD SD75i units. 

It was quite the surprise and a nice finish for the day.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

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Memorial Day Weekend With CSX–Part 1

May 27, 2013
The first train that I photographed was a manifest freight heading west. It is crossing Greenwich Townline Road 79 S.

The first train that I photographed was a manifest freight heading west. It is crossing Greenwich Townline Road 79 S.

My first visit to the reservoir at New London came on May 28, 2006, during an Akron Railroad club outing. Almost immediately, I liked the location.

I’ve been back to New London several times since then, but not so the ARRC. Having enjoyed the 2006 outing there, I pushed to have another club outing to New London and nearby Greenwich over Memorial Day weekend of 2012.

But no one wanted to go or could not go so the outing never happened. I pushed again for the club to go to New London over the Labor Day weekend, but again there was no interest.

This year I decided to have my own outing to New London on Memorial Day weekend Sunday.

I arrived shortly before 9 a.m. after picking up breakfast at McDonalds. The skies were clear and the temperatures a bit cool. There was a light breeze that made ripples in the water.

This jacket weather was quite a contrast from the 2006 Memorial Day weekend.

I had another motivation for going to New London. Ever since Norfolk Southern revived its steam program and painted 20 diesels in heritage liveries, I’ve all but forgotten railfanning CSX. It was high time to spend a day with an old friend.

Train traffic through New London was brisk early. I saw three trains roll past before I had finished eating breakfast.

After getting a couple of ground-level shots, I climbed atop the reservoir.

Nothing out of the ordinary came past in terms of motive power or train consists. It was the typical daily traffic with the usual CSX power.

During the 2006 outing, we had seen the CSX executive train. But nothing extraordinary came by today and the only foreign power that I saw was BNSF.

Nonetheless, I was enjoying myself. There is something relaxing about sitting next to a body of water.

I wondered what other club members were doing today. Some I knew were in Pennsylvania chasing Nickel Plate Road No. 765. Another club member had a trip to Pittsburgh planned.

My thoughts were interrupted by hearing on the radio a K train taking the southeast connection at Greenwich.

That got me off the top of reservoir and driving toward Nova to get yet another shot of a train and the tower that seems to be cheating demolition with each passing day.

Back on the reservoir less than an hour later, I heard train after train on the ex-B&O while the ex-Big Four through New London was silent.

The lull would last nearly two hours before the Cleveland Subdivision sprang back to life and a steady stream of trains returned.

By mid afternoon I was thirsty and feeling it was time to move on. Did I want to go over to Greenwich? Up to Wellington and a stop at the Dairy Queen? Or perhaps it was time to mosey toward home?

I heard the rumble of locomotives working hard. My decision was about to be made.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Tank train shots have almost become cliche. But they still intrigue me.

Tank train shots have almost become cliche. But they still intrigue me.

A red house and a locomotive nose in a view taken from atop the reservoir.

A red house and a locomotive nose in a view taken from atop the reservoir.

The image was recorded in Ohio, but it could have been in Kansas. Everything in this eastbound grain train carried BNSF markings.

The image was recorded in Ohio, but it could have been in Kansas. Everything in this eastbound grain train carried BNSF markings.

The reservoir is not the only body of water at this site.

The reservoir is not the only body of water at this site.

I don't know if these ties are awaiting pick up by the railroad or they are going to be used to create a set of steps from the parking lot to the top of the reservoir.

I don’t know if these ties are awaiting pick up by the railroad or they are going to be used to create a set of steps from the parking lot to the top of the reservoir.

A track inspector looks over Track No. 1 as he travels toward New London.

A track inspector looks over Track No. 1 as he travels toward New London.

What is a photograph in May witout flowers? Some wild daisies sway in the wind as an eastbound stack train passes.

What is a photograph in May witout flowers? Some wild daisies sway in the wind as an eastbound stack train passes.

Railfanning on ARRC Meeting Day

August 25, 2012

The Akron, Barberton Cluster Railway job rolls through downtown Kent en route to Brittain Yard in Akron on Friday, Aug. 24.

It was the Akron Railroad Club meeting day and club president Craig Sanders had the day off. The weather was beautiful and he had to get out and catch some train action. To read Craig’s account of his railfanning in Brady Lake, Kent and Alliance as well as to view a gallery of photographs, click on the link below.

https://akronrrclub.wordpress.com/trackside-tales/railfanning-on-arrc-meeting-day/

Slow Day Until a Radio Call Came

June 19, 2012

My Saturday chasing (June 16, 2012) didn’t start out with much of a plan. The museum at Northeast, Pa., was having a 24-hour railfanning session and with no Norfolk Southern heritage paints in the area we made our way in that direction.

The CSX lakefront line wasn’t very busy and we missed an NS train at Geneva. Continuing to Ashtabula, an EB CSX freight was leaving just as we pulled up. But we got no pictures.

No other trains were talking on the scanner so we checked out the docks. Nothing was happening there, either.

As it was near 11 a.m., we thought the AC&J should be running so we headed over to the tiny burg of Jefferson. Again, nothing was doing. The Alco switcher that they use was broken.

It was missing a rear coupler and a step well, but who knows what else was wrong with it.

The scanner then picked up a NB train on the Youngstown line which we did catch, but the sun angle was so bad I deleted those pictures in the camera.

We continued to Conneaut where we saw a WB NS enter the yard. Again there was bad sun as we were on north side of the train.

CSX was still pretty quiet so we checked out the Bessemer docks, which were also quiet. Leaving town, we missed a CSX double stack and started to head for Northeast because it was  about 2 p.m.

After getting on I-90, we heard a train asking for authority on the Conneaut branch.

Whoa there. We came to a full stop. That would be the Bessemer.

So we got off and detoured to Albion. There was no activity here, either, so we went back to Conneaut and waited.

Within five minutes a three-unit set of B&LE SD40-3s went by heading for the dock. We waited and caught an EB NS on the bridge and after about 40 minutes the Bessemer train went south with 60-70 loads of ore.

Finally, the chase was on and we got many angles including a signal bridge at KO Jct. that I’ve been wanting to get.

We followed him to Kremis where the train changed crews. A new crew took the train south, but it was now 6:30 and the great sun we had was clouding over. So, we headed for home.

On the way we checked out the former EL yard in Sharon Pa where NS had a ballast train parked in great light but behind fences and poles so was difficult to get anything good.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Deshler Derf Dash Proved Satisfying

May 28, 2012

On my way to Derf fest in Deshler — so called because of the Derf chicken that is served — we came to an advanced state of whoa in Attica.

A Norfolk Southern coal train was blocking the U.S. Route 224 crossing. The head end power was just south of town so we detoured to check it out.

Two Dash 9s were hammerhead style (long hood forward). I thought this was strange, particularly where he was stopped he could have moved further south you would think.

Then it hit me that this wasn’t the head end but the rear of the coal train.

The power that I was looking at was the helper set. This is common in places like Pennsylvania and Virginia but not central Ohio.

We proceeded north to Attica Jct. (Siam) to find the head end. This was a monster coal train stretching over two miles long.

He was holding for a couple southbound NS trains and finally proceeded north when they cleared.

He then stopped north of the diamonds with CSX and blocked the Ohio Route 4 crossing. If the goal was to block every crossing in Ohio he was succeeding.

Also at Siam was an eastbound CSX ethanol train with two ICE SD40-2s waiting on a crew. Several CSX trains passed him but he still didn’t move so we continued our trip.

At Deshler we found a very crowded rail park and got many more good pictures. After camping out I got some reflection shots in the morning.

On the way back home I got a surprise in Fostoria. CSX has updated a former Chessie safety caboose, which is used as the shoving platform on a local freight.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon